Cover image for The great Grisby : two thousand years of literary, royal, philosophical, and artistic dog lovers and their exceptional animals
Title:
The great Grisby : two thousand years of literary, royal, philosophical, and artistic dog lovers and their exceptional animals
Author:
Brottman, Mikita, 1966-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, [2014]
Physical Description:
273 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
While gradually unveiling her eight-year love affair with her French bulldog, Grisby, Mikita Brottman ruminates on the singular bond between dogs and humans, turning her keen eye on the many ways in which dog is the mirror of man.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062304612

9780062304629
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A scholar, psychoanalyst, and cultural critic explores the multifaceted role dogs play in our world in this charming bestiary of dogs from literature, lore, and life.

While gradually unveiling her eight-year love affair with her French bulldog, Grisby, Mikita Brottman ruminates on the singular bond between dogs and humans. Why do prevailing attitudes warn us against loving our pet "too much"? Is her relationship with Grisby nourishing or dysfunctional, commonplace or unique? Challenging the assumption that there's something repressed and neurotic about those deeply connected to a dog, she turns her keen eye on the many ways in which dog is the mirror of man.

The Great Grisby is organized into twenty-six alphabetically arranged chapters, each devoted to a particular human-canine union drawn from history, art, philosophy, or literature. Here is Picasso's dachshund Lump; Freud's chow Yofi; Bill Sikes's mutt Bull's Eye in Oliver Twist; and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's spaniel Flush, whose biography was penned by Virginia Woolf. There are royal dogs, like Prince Albert's greyhound Eos, and dogs cherished by authors, like Thomas Hardy's fox terrier, Wessex. Brottman's own beloved Grisby serves as an envoy for sniffing out these remarkable companions.

Quirky and delightful, and peppered with incisive personal reflections and black-and-white sketches portraying a different dog and its owner drawn by the enormously talented Davina "Psamophis" Falc#65533;o, The Great Grisby reveals how much dogs have to teach us about empathy, happiness, love--and what it means to be human.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Scholar, critic, psychoanalyst, and dog lover Brottman examines the special relationship between humans and their canine friends in 26 short chapters. She portrays the numerous poodles belonging to malcontent German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Prince Albert's greyhound, Thomas and Jane Carlyle's Maltese mix, and Elizabeth Barrett's cocker spaniel, Flush, the subject of Virginia Woolf's playful canine biography of the same name based on Barrett's own letters. Thomas Hardy's prickly wirehaired fox terrier had a particular fondness for some of his master's guests, including T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Frida Kahlo was surrounded by animals, but her favorite pet was Señor Xolotl, a Mexican hairless dog. Fictional dogs are also present, including Bull's-Eye, Bill Sikes' loyal companion in Dickens' Oliver Twist. Our dogs say a lot about us, Brottman observes. A dog can be an alter ego, a substitute for a child, or a healer of wounds. More than just a collection of fun dog stories, Brottman's book illuminates the symbiotic relationship between people and canines, offering insights into the human condition through the lens of our four-footed friends.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Cultural critic Brottman Hyena examines the bond between human and dog in this leisurely stroll through the history of notable dogs and their owners. Dog luminaries include Senor Xolotl, the Mexican hairless dog of Frida Kahlo, who once peed on one of Diego Riveras watercolors; Lump, a dachshund immortalized by Picasso; Peritas, the so-called favorite dog of Alexander the Great. Fictional dogs appear as well, like Jip, the naughty spaniel from Charles Dickenss David Copperfield, as well as the dogs of authors such as Anton Chekhov and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. These mini-profiles bleed into meditations on the eponymous Grisby, the authors own French bulldog and the apple of her eye. In her paeans to her pet, Brottman evokes the joys of dog ownership. Though this is certainly a book for a niche audience, avid dog lovers will relish the digressions into literature and history, as well as the assurance that the love between dog and human can be as deep as any other kind of love. B&w illus. Agent: Betsy Lerner, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Atmap. 5
2 Bull's-eyep. 13
3 Caesar IIIp. 21
4 Douchkap. 29
5 Eosp. 39
6 Flushp. 47
7 Giallop. 57
8 Hachikop. 65
9 Issap. 73
10 Jipp. 81
11 Kashtankap. 89
12 Lumpp. 97
13 Mathep. 107
14 Nerop. 115
15 Ortipop. 123
16 Peritasp. 135
17 Quininep. 143
18 Robberp. 153
19 Shockp. 165
20 Tulipp. 175
21 Ulissesp. 185
22 Venomp. 193
23 Wessexp. 201
24 Xolotlp. 209
25 Yofip. 217
26 Zémirep. 225
Postscriptp. 233
Notesp. 235
Bibliographyp. 259